WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
With the official global death toll at more than 126,000, experts say this number is only an estimate as testing discrepancies among regions can impact totals. In the U.S., testing efforts are seeing a slowdown– the number of coronavirus tests analyzed each day by commercial labs saw a drop of 30% over the past week. One explanation points to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s revision that narrowed testing criteria in March.
President Trump announced he will suspend funding to the World Health Organization while his administration reviews the organization’s response to the pandemic. The U.S. is already $200 million in arrears in membership fees to the WHO. Bill Gates said the decision is “as dangerous as it sounds,” and the American Medical Association called on Trump to reconsider. Trump had threatened to withhold funding from WHO last week after accusing the organization of not being aggressive enough in its efforts.
Stock futures indicate losses at the open as investors analyze another round of corporate earnings reports. Yesterday, U.S. airlines and the Treasury Department reached a deal that would provide billions in government grants. Shares of major airline companies surged in premarket trading.
U.S. retail sales plummeted a record 8.7%, the biggest decline in records dating back to 1992. The decline is attributed to coronavirus forcing nation’s merchants to close and leaving millions without paychecks.
European markets traded lower despite the region starting to lift restrictive measures. Investor’s confidence took a hit following the announcement from the International Monetary Fund that 2020 will likely suffer the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
General Motors and the medical tech company Ventec Life Systems are set to deliver new ventilators ahead of schedule. Under the partnership, the two companies plan to build 30,000 ventilators. Ventilators keep patients breathing– though most people put on ventilators will not survive, it can buy a few more days. Shortages have forced many states to ration their ventilator supply.
NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC
After Coronavirus, Colleges Worry: Will Students Come Back? – The New York Times – 4/15/2020
Across the country, students like Ms. McCarville are rethinking their choices in a world altered by the pandemic. And universities, concerned about the potential for shrinking enrollment and lost revenue, are making a wave of decisions in response that could profoundly alter the landscape of higher education for years to come.
Social distancing until 2022?! Hopefully not – MIT Technology Review – 4/15/2020
And here we get to the first key variable: If, as the researchers suppose, SARS-CoV-2 behaves similarly to OC43 and HKU1, then summer will significantly slow its spread—but not enough to stop it. There is also a risk that prolonged social distancing over the summer would prime a worse outbreak in the winter of 2020-21, because there would still be lots of people who hadn’t yet had the virus.
Despite coronavirus, Americans fight for their right to a birthday party – Reuters – 4/15/2020
In many small towns across the country, local police and fire departments are staging parades in front of children’s’ homes on their birthdays, complete with flashing lights and sirens. Friends and families are using Zoom video conferencing to throw virtual parties, featuring renditions of “Happy Birthday,” a song that has become a coronavirus anthem. […] In San Diego, California, when a former U.S. Marine couldn’t go anywhere for her 104th birthday, her friends brought the party to her front lawn.
Google launches ‘Journalism Emergency Relief Fund’ – 9to5Google – 4/15/2020
Noting the “greater function” that these publications serve in covering the local impacts of the coronavirus, Google wants to “deliver urgent aid to thousands of small, medium and local news publishers globally.” […] Google has not detailed the exact size of the fund, but earlier this month committed $6.5 million to fact checking efforts related to COVID-19 and launched new features to highlight news across its products.
The coronavirus butterfly effect: Six predictions for a new world order – Fast Company – 4/14/2020
In chaos theory, the butterfly effect describes a small change that can have massive, unpredictable consequences. An insect flaps its wings and, weeks later, causes a tornado. The coronavirus is more like an earthquake, with aftershocks that will permanently reshape the world.
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
To view each social media post, click on the date link within the post.
Lex Haris @Lex Haris 14 Apr “I think I have applied for six different things now — grants and loans — and nothing, nothing has happened…It’s a hot mess. It’s awful. And it’s a game of time — can our cash reserves last until the government kicks in?
Yahoo Finance @Yahoo Finance 14 Apr 4 businesses that have received PPP coronavirus loans have 1 thing in common: small banks
CNBC @CNBC 14 Apr Restaurant owner says small business loan not enough to immediately bring workers off furlough
Jim Tankersley @Jim Tankersley 14 Apr The big winners in the PPP small biz loans so far: * Construction cos. * Texas The losers, in relative terms: *Hotels *Restaurants
Stephanie Ruhle @Stephanie Ruhle 14 Apr #PPP is getting to some applicants… @Chase exec confirming to me they have $9.3bn funded & OUT THE DOOR!! What we need to find out next…who are the applicants getting it. Let’s hope it’s those who are actually shut down. Those who need it most.
Turbine Labs has tracked 92,181 media articles and blogs over the last 24 hours and 7,104,511 social media posts over the last 24 hours.